Ageratum is a genus of plants in the Asteraceae family. They are native to Mexico, Central America, and northern South America. They are known for their blue flowers, which are produced in the form of tufts, and the softness and ease with which they grow. These qualities make them popular choices for gardens and landscaping projects. They are often used as bedding or border plants, though they can also be grown in containers.
HOW TO PLANT AGERATUM
Ageratum is a small flower, so it is most beautiful when planted in large numbers. For this reason, consider planting ageratum seeds in outdoor flower beds or containers. If you are sowing the ageratum seed outdoors, wait until the last frost has passed to plant your flowers. When planting ageratum seeds outdoors, space them 1 inch apart and cover them with a thin layer of soil.
If you grow ageratum indoors and intend to transplant your flowers outside once they have sprouted and grown more prominent, start the seeds five weeks before your region’s final frost date. You can sow them in peat pots or any other biodegradable container that will allow you to transplant them directly into the ground without disturbing their roots.
You can also grow ageratum plants from nursery transplants purchased at local garden centers and nurseries or mail-order catalogs. Plant these transplants in full sun once all danger of frost has passed for the year (later than starting from seed). When planted outside, Ageratums should be spaced 6 inches apart and 12 inches apart if grown inside containers on patios or decks.
Once established, this plant requires little additional care beyond routine watering during dry spells and periodic pinching of leggy stems to encourage bushier growth after the blooming season ends.
HOW TO GERMINATE SEEDS FOR AGERATUM
- Place a layer of seed starting mix in a seed starter tray.
- Sow ageratum seeds on the mix and cover them with more mixture.
- Moisten the soil in your tray by pouring room-temperature water over it until thoroughly saturated but not muddy or soggy.
- Place the tray inside a clear plastic bag or cover it with plastic wrap to trap moisture and heat around the seeds as they germinate, mimicking their natural environment below ground where they would grow naturally if planted directly into the soil outside.
- Set the covered tray in an area that stays between 70- and 75-degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 60 to 65 F at night for about five days as the seeds germinate or until you see tiny green sprouts appearing through the soil’s surface from beneath each seed you planted.
HOW TO KEEP AGERATUM MOIST
Ageratum is a plant that needs moist soil to thrive. While you shouldn’t allow the soil to become saturated, the ageratum plant should never be allowed to dry out completely. You can test the moisture level of your ageratum’s soil by sticking your finger into it up to the second knuckle. Water it thoroughly until excess moisture drains from its container’s bottom hole if the soil is dry.
As with most plants, adequate drainage is essential for healthy growth. Ageratums will rot if their roots are continually dripping wet, so check your container before watering again if you don’t see any drainage out of its bottom hole. If there isn’t any visible drainage, wait a day or two and recheck it before watering. Mulch around your ageratum will help keep its soil moist between waterings by preventing evaporation from sunlight and wind. In addition, mulch adds nutrients to the soil as it breaks down over time.
WHY DOES MY AGERATUM LOOK SICK?
It may be a few factors. The plant is susceptible to diseases like leaf spots, gray mold, and powdery mildew. If you see discolored leaves or lesions, they’ve been infected. Remove damaged leaves as soon as possible before the fungus spreads to other foliage. Some fungi can’t be treated with fungicides, so your best bet is prevention. Make sure you water the plants at the base and use a nozzle, so you don’t splash water onto the leaves. If wilt develops, make sure that the soil has plenty of moisture and check for root rot (it will smell not very good).
HOW TO PRUNE AGERATUM
Floss flowers are effortless to prune. You don’t need to fret or worry that you might cut off the wrong thing. Ageratum is a highly tolerant plant, and a bit of light pruning will not harm at all.
The best time to prune is before the plant has begun to bloom, which encourages branching and bushy growth. If your ageratum is getting too tall and leggy, pinch out the tips of the main stems. This will encourage branching out lower down on the plants, giving a bushier appearance.
Throughout the flowering season, you will keep your plant under control so it doesn’t get too big for its space in your border or bed. Pruning also helps to keep the plant healthy and vigorous by improving air circulation around it and reducing pest infestations.
Ageratums Are Perennials In Warmer Climates And Annuals In Cooler Ones
These are easy plants to grow, but they are not as cold-hardy as other annuals. Can you grow ageratum perennials in your garden? In cooler climates, ageratum is grown as an annual. In warmer areas, ageratum may be perennial. If the plant re-seeds easily in your area and comes back every year, it may be perennial.
Otherwise, start ageratums from seed or buy transplants at the nursery early in spring and plant them out after the threat of frost has passed. Plant them outdoors in rich soil that is well-drained in full sun to partial shade—in hot climates, and it benefits from some shade afternoons. Ageratum may also be grown in containers for those who live where summers are too hot for this plant.
Ageratums will bloom all season profusely long without deadheading; however, removing spent blooms will encourage continued flowering through the season. Cut stems back by half after the first flush of flowers fades to keep plants neat and encourage new growth and flowers.